Parent who lost son in work zone accident pleas for drivers to slow down, pay attention

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Governor Holcomb has proclaimed April 3-7 as Work Zone Awareness Week in Indiana and one parent who lost a child while working along the highway is pleading for drivers to slow down and pay attention.

“Just slow down. Save a life. We are all in this together,” Dennis DeMoss said.

DeMoss, a construction worker himself, lost his son, Coty, in 2014 when he was hit and killed by a driver.  Coty DeMoss’ coworker, Kennth Duerson, also died in the crash. The driver, Jordan Stafford, was just sentenced to 10 years in prison last August.

“It’s changed our lives forever,” DeMoss said.

Now, Coty’s and Kenneth’s pictures hang on a billboard on 82nd St., just before drivers enter I-69 where the two men were killed.

“I might not know if it ever makes a difference, but if it saves one life it’s worth doing it,” DeMoss said.

In addition to billboards and bumper stickers promoting Work Zone Awareness Week,  INDOT released a powerful PSA featuring a child working on the highway this year.

“If it was me out here, you’d pay attention,” the child in the PSA said.

“We have to get (our message) out there,” INDOT Spokesman Nathan Riggs said. “People are dying and like I said, nearly all these crashes are preventable. It just takes drivers making smart decisions.”

"On average in Indiana 12 people die each year in INDOT work zones and 80 percent of those deaths are drivers and passengers, not workers," Riggs said.

This year INDOT has more than $1 billion worth road work projects around the state. Five hundred bridges will either get rehabilitated or rebuilt, Riggs said.

“We’ve got a busy season planned for this year,” Riggs said. “There’s not a lot of room for mistakes when you’re driving through these work zones and unfortunately when mistakes are made, especially in these work zones, far too often the results are tragic.”